Jyll Holzman

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Jyll holzman led the advertising team of one of the world's best-known newspapers during its strongest year-to-year period ever.

As The New York Times senior VP-advertising, she led a 350-person team that helped increase ad revenues 16.7% to $757.9 million as of July, from the same period last year.

"We do have an extraordinary team," says Ms. Holzman, who shies away from shouldering credit for the paper's success and lavishes it on her team.

"It takes a great leader to make a great team," says Jane Hertzmark, senior VP-general manager for Donna Karan Cosmetics. "Jyll has brought a new kind of spirit and energy to The New York Times."

Ms. Holzman's commitment to the paper's editorial mission factors in her success. "I have always worked for publications that believed in their mission," she says.

She joined The New York Times Co. in 1991 as ad director of Child and did a stint from 1994 to 1995 as the associate publisher of Walt Disney Co.'s Family Fun. After moving to theTimes, she was promoted to the senior VP role in March 1999 from a VP-advertising position. She added responsibility for the Sunday magazine and such areas as entertainment, fashion, package goods, restaurants and healthcare.

Ms. Holzman has dealt with an "interesting confluence of market happenings" that have affected the ad sales team and the Times' bottom line.

From the dot-com ad boom and the growth in telecommunications to the creation of a six-part paper with color opportunities and a Competitive Media Reporting designation two years ago as a national newspaper, Ms. Holzman has relied on flexibility and a willingness to adapt quickly during such transitions.

"When we first noticed e-commerce [on the upswing], we created a new team . . . [with] marketing and promotional support," says Ms. Holzman. "We noticed a shift to b-to-b in January and quickly morphed some of the team into a b-to-b team."

"She understands the people we want to reach and creates the avenues to reach them," says Harold Holzer, VP-communications at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mr. Holzer cites the Times' museum section as one of Ms. Holzman's creative solutions. The museum "originally resisted [the section] as an annoyance, but she created a national keeper in that section. In a couple of short years, [she] has created an institution."

Ms. Holzman's magazine background helped her shape a new take on ad sales. "We are selling more like a magazine now," she says. "[We have more of a] focus on share, competition and an enormous focus on promotion. We are selling schedules with extremely sophisticated tools, and that is a magazine model."

That focus on share has helped the Times increase its hold on several ad categories. For example, technology ads are up 50% and telecom 83.9%.

"When we originally received the CMR data, 11 of our 38 [categories had the] No. 1 share of the market. Now 15 are in the No. 1 spot," says Ms. Holzman.

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